By Brynn Abernathy
The summer months are rapidly approaching, and with them comes scorching temperatures often in the 90s or even above. During this time it is important to keep in mind the danger this heat poses to our pets. This danger is especially real when pets are left in sweltering vehicles for even short periods of time.
Leaving your animal in a car for even a quick pit stop can have horrible consequences on warm days. According to aldf.org, on a 70 degree day, the temperature inside a car can reach 90 degrees in only ten minutes. The inside of a car can climb from 85 degrees to 120 degrees in less than thirty minutes according to aspca.org. Dogs cannot easily cool themselves like humans and can sustain brain damage or even die due to heatstroke in just 15 minutes. Cracking the windows while running an errand is not enough to protect your dog from the heat and does not eliminate the risk of brain and organ damage, heatstroke or even death.
If you see a pet inside a hot vehicle, there are important steps to take to ensure the safety of the animal. Collect the license plate number, make and model of the vehicle and if possible, have managers at nearby businesses make an announcement that would get the attention of the owner. If this fails, call animal control or local law enforcement immediately and do not leave until they have arrived. In some states, owners who leave their dogs in hot cars can face animal cruelty charges.
With relentless summer temperatures on the horizon, it is important to remember how dangerous they can really be to our beloved pets. If it is too hot for you, it is too hot for them! You wouldn’t put your dog in a hot oven, so why would you leave it in a hot car? So, this summer, be mindful of these dangers and never leave your pet in a hot car, and if you see an animal in a hot car, contact the owner or the authorities. You could save its life.